Yesterday’s arrest of former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus was not much of a surprise to anyone close to this case. What was more of a surprise was how blatantly the San Bernardino County Public Integrity Unit (PIU) went out of their way to keep from having to present their case at the preliminary hearing.
The first trick up Deputy District Attorney Lewis Cope’s sleeve was to present the defense with “new” evidence from with the previous 48 hours. Well that was the story. But the story changed. Here is the new story according to the Sun:
Prosecutor Lewis Cope expressed disappointment Thursday that he was unable to proceed with the preliminary hearing.
The new report provided to defense attorneys, Cope said, will not change the way he plans to present his case.
“It’s unfortunate in this case that the timing worked out this way, because we would have liked to have moved forward,” Cope said.
The hearing was postponed until September 23, 2010, giving the district attorney more time to investigate the same old stuff even more. But that’s not what they said, you say. And you would be quite gullible if you believe what Cope claimed. His actions yesterday spoke much louder than anything he stated.
As was said above, the District Attorney’s office originally claimed they had new evidence. So what was this “new” evidence that was turned over to defense counsel? The “evidence” was a summary of an interview with our favorite yellow singing Canary, Mr. Max Factor himself, Adam Aleman, about Postmus’ love life.
The evidence has no bearing on the case and was only meant to embarrass Postmus. Only someone such as Cope, a devout Mormon, would consider homosexuality to be a crime or use it as a method to embarrass a defendant. Well, okay, he’s not the only one in the Ramos camp to have issues with gays. And they know anti-gay rhetoric plays well in the court of public opinion. This only shows bigotry is alive and well in the District Attorney’s office. Too bad Cope doesn’t apply his Morman standards to his boss. I thought sex with dozens of women . . ..
So, was Cope saying this interview took place in the 48 hours prior to the hearing or was he saying they decided to wait to turn over until the prelim? The latter is the truth of course.
As a matter of fact, as I write this, a writ is being prepared over discovery issues in the corruption cases. The members of the San Bernardino County Superior Court bench seem to have forgotten all they learned in Discovery 101 and need some help from the Court of Appeal to regain their memories.
Counsel for the defense has another little trick up its sleeve that makes me smile. We will let the District Attorney’s office wonder what that might be for a while longer. Hint: Ya might wanna read up on recent case law. We’d like to think ya didn’t all go to the Ruth Stringer school of legal research.
In the same vein, it seems Cope, et al., apparently joined Ramos and Stringer in playing hookie from Complaint Writing 101. The Second Amended Complaint is as vague as the First Amended Complaint which is as vague as the original complaint. None of them put forth the evidence to show a crime may have been committed. Yet another demurrer is being prepared.
So how many amended complaints must there be before these legal Beagles can get it right? Well, since no crime took place, it will be interesting to see how much our county’s crack(ed) legal team will take this before they give up in embarrassment. One would think the Attorney General’s office would be a little more prideful in their work product, but apparently Melissa Mandel is no better of a trial attorney than her San Bernardino County counterparts.
But we have digressed to one of our favorite activities and that is bashing our county’s legal “experts.” Let’s get back to yesterday’s events.
Within hours of yesterday’s arrest of former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus, volumes were written about his pending demise. And that is exactly what the San Bernardino County District Attorney was hoping for. What is interesting is that I actually noticed tinges of “smelling a rat” in the reporting by mainstream media. Here are are few points about yesterday’s arrest. It should be noted that none of this came from Bill.
The papers reported that the arrest was made by the Sheriff’s Department Court Services Division. What they failed to mention is that there were several members of the PIU in the courtroom suggesting to the bailiffs that Bill be checked for drugs.
It is very common for defendants to show up to court under the influence. I know. I worked there for six years and saw it daily. Not that many defendants are taken into custody. What happened yesterday was a bit unusual. But what was even more unusual is the fact that the arrest took place before the hearing.
Normally, unless the defendant is so out of it that they are not coherent, the hearing will take place and then an arrest made if necessary. Bill was far from out of it. If there were drugs in his system, they were not from that morning.
Court calendars are so crowded that judges try to keep cases moving whenever possibly, especially when there are time waiver issues as there are in this case. It was obvious yesterday the District Attorney was not prepared to move along with the case.
What was more obvious as the day progressed was that the PIU had a preconceived plan in place to stop the prelim by taking Bill into custody. Bill has a drug problem and played right into their hands. We agree. The point is what happened yesterday is far from standard operating procedure.
In addition to what happened in the courtroom, the orchestration of the arrest became more clear with their actions once the arrest was made. The offense took place in the city of San Bernardino. It was a two-bit drug charge. No agency spends the kind of money and allocates the resources that were allocated yesterday on a possession charge.
From what I understand at least five investigators and one evidence technician were tied up for most of the day guarding Bill’s vehicle, obtaining a search warrant, and searching the vehicle. This being done for a petty misdemeanor by the District Attorney’s Office rather than the police department is highly unusual.
The search, which should take no longer than 30 minutes, lasted two hours. They not only looked for drugs, but anything regarding the corruption scandal. Some of the previous search warrants are likely to be thrown out when these cases go to trial and evidence, if any was found, from this search is highly susceptible to “fruit of the poisonous tree” arguments.
The bottom line is that PIU investigators involved themselves in an arrest and investigation they should have not been involved with, tying up thousands of dollars in manpower and resources for what? Well, the answer is two-fold.
First, we knew there would be retribution when the Ristow lawsuit hit. Mikey does something each and every time to deflect from facing negative press. Despite what Mikey says, there are five sworn declarations in the possession of Ristow’s attorney from Mikey’s employees that implicate Mikey in one or more felonies. They will be made public when Jim Reiss is ready to make them public.
Second, the Attorney General’s office has been putting pressure on Mikey, as outlined on www.InlandPolitics.com, to produce that “crime of the century” he promised. What is sad, is that we have already had one suicide in connection with Mikey’s handling of this investigation and many close to Bill feel Mikey is trying to push him over the edge as well.
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